Soulful Sunday #55: Beautiful Bodies

comparison

Welcome to my fifty-fifth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’; a weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my dreams and intentions for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

At seven and a half months pregnant, I’m amazed by the number of women who feel compelled to comment on the size of my bump, comparing its size to that of their friend who is ‘due two weeks before me and is SO much smaller’, so small in fact you can ‘hardly tell’. I’ve even had my belly compared to a basket ball!

I’d like to think the women delivering these words are well intentioned and simply unaware of the potential harm their comments can cause. Still, I can’t help but feel a little disheartened that body comparison is so prevalent, even during pregnancy.

Isn’t a women supposed to feel beautiful and bountiful in her pregnant body? Is the fullness of her tummy not the fullest expression of creation itself? A time to celebrate the changes in her body as it nurtures new life within?

I have to acknowledge that I’ve also had many women tell me I look beautiful and stunning as I bloom to full size. To those Divine Goddesses; I salute you. For you are the ones who focus not on the ‘neatness of the bump’, or for how long it can remain disguised or ‘unnoticed’; but instead on the natural beauty to be embraced throughout the many changing phases of a woman’s body.

Today, let’s lift each other up. Let’s celebrate our bodies; big, small, teeny or tall, remembering that we are ALL Divine.

Soul Strolls

This week’s soul strolling took place in the hospital. We had our hospital tour where we were able to walk through where we’ll go on the day of our birthing. Despite having had some fears around birthing in a hospital, as I walked the corridors I blessed them with love and repeated the mantra, ‘All is well. I have nothing to fear. Love, peace, harmony and joy surround and indwell me.’

The Mercy Hospital for Women does feel like a safer space than my previous hospital. The midwives are very supportive of a natural birth with as little intervention as possible. I trust I am in safe hands.

Live your life as if everything is rigged in your favour.

– Rumi

Soul Recipes

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My partner loves to buy a Massaman Curry from our local Thai. Since he spent this soulful Sunday working, I decided to surprise him with a Slow Cooked Lamb Massaman which was simply divine! I adapted the recipe slightly (and cheated) by buying a massaman curry paste rather than making my own from scratch, as this recipe suggests. If I owned a food processor I would definitely have attempted the homemade paste in this recipe… I also used carrots, red pepper and red chillies in addition to the potato instead of the green beans, since I already had those vegetables on hand at home.

Needless to say, this dish was yummy and my man had a happy tummy after a hard days work.

Soul Music

I’d love to share Heather Mae’s I Am Enough as a stunning reminder that our body’s are not ‘wrong’ or ‘shameful’. We can be grateful for our body, regardless of our shape or size. This makes me smile each time I listen. Today, give your body a big appreciative hug, tell your body how much you love it… and then have a good ole dance to this feel good track! I’ll be dancing along with you with my pregnant bump 😉

Soul Sisters

I’d love to share the work of a soul sister who has been pivotal in reducing my fears around labour. I bought Kat’s book in my second trimester when I was led to it by a serendipitous moment. It was just what I needed to believe in my abilities to birth my baby naturally. I will be gifting Kat’s work to any pregnant ladies I know! You can find Kat at The Birth Goddess.

Wishing you all a soulful Sunday. May you feel safe, supported and loved, today and always.

Love always,

Hayley xx

 

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Transformation Is Often Hard

Transformation is hard
Transformation isn’t always a walk in the park. In fact, it’s often a hike up a rocky cliff – sometimes we stumble and find ourselves stuck in a deep, dark crevice.

Just two days from reaching the finish line of sober October, I woke with a hangover from hell. Immediately, I began to criticise, self-punish and drag myself through the mud: “Failure… Did you actually think you could remain sober? When will you ever learn? Clearly you’re not capable of breaking this repetitive cycle…”

And then I remembered, transformation is about progress, not perfection. As I allowed myself to be held and supported, I thought of the advice I would offer a friend or loved one in the same position: Be gentle on yourself. Too often we speak to ourselves in harsh, reprimanding tones – rejecting a part of ourselves as ‘not good enough’, when in fact, we are perfectly imperfect just the way we are. Transformation takes time.

Today, be gentle on yourself. Embrace the messy moments along with the magical ones, for they all form part of your growth and expansion. Trust that from the darkness, a beautiful butterfly is emerging. The journey may be slow, but it is one worth taking.

The road ahead is clear and free. I give myself permission to move out of the past with gratitude and into a joyous new day.’

– Louise L Hay

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #35: Honour Yourself

Honour Yourself

Welcome to my thirty-fifth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’. A weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my hopes and dreams for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

There are days when our hearts are so over-joyed we feel we could walk on air we’re so high… And then there are days when we want to punch pillows and hide under duvets in a darkened room. Life’s contrasts are real. But we needn’t hide or run from them. We just need to live them. And be kind to ourselves in the process.

Whether you are high on life today, or having a duvet day (like me) because your lady cramps are in full force and the sight of puppies causes you to cry into your rice crispies – whatever your mood may be, honour yourself. Do what makes your soul happy (or at least do what makes you feel sane!) Take yourself off for a walk. Watch back to back episodes of Friends and laugh untill your belly hurts. Create a delicious, nourishing meal that heals, or devour some crumpets with drippings and drippings of butter!

Whatever you decide to do, do it with complete love for yourself. Honour your feelings, and trust that everything will be just fine.

Soul Strolls

I have the honour of house sitting for my friends again, taking care of their beautiful cat, Bella, whilst they are away on holiday. Their home is ten minutes from Princes Park, so I have been lucky enough to enjoy some daily soul strolls again this week. There is nothing like a walk to wash away your woes. I took this photo on the first day of Spring here in Melbourne, Australia.

Since ancient times, the first of September has been viewed as a time for reflection and renewal. As the seasons gently give way to one another, may we be gentle on ourselves. The seasonal transition is synonymous with our own growth and regeneration, so let us be kind as we reflect, blossom and bloom into all that we were meant to be.

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Beautiful white flowers captured in Princes Park on the first day of Spring

Soul Food

Tomorrow, I’ve decided to make my Amaranth & Seed Superfood slices, it’s been a while since I’ve made them. They are such a delicious little snack to keep on hand for those moments when you need a little pick me up without the added nasties that can sometimes be hidden in so called pre-packaged ‘health’ bars. What’s your favourite little go-to snack?

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Soul Music

I’d like to share a meditation track today titled, Love Song From The Mountains by Deuter. It is truly mesmerising, the perfect song to honour yourself with in a moment of tranquil bliss. Take a moment to close your eyes and become lost in it’s heavenly sounds.

Soul Sisters

Today I would like to share the post How To Recognise An Incredible Woman.

I discovered it on My Own Private Idaho. Head on over for a read! I’m sure we can all identify with the woman in this beautiful, honest piece.

Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday of love and self-honouring my friends.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

The Three Grand Essentials To Happiness

essentials to happiness

Happiness is a state of mind; a state which can shift from pure contentment to complete dissatisfaction in any given moment. This change in perspective can be triggered by a number of outside circumstances seemingly out of our control; unexpected news, the loss of something dear, an ill-mannered interaction with a stranger…

At times our discomfort is prolonged and happiness can feel like a distant memory. I remember the overwhelming feeling of complete sorrow in the long months that followed my Dad’s death. I was a sinking ship. Afraid of marring others with my grief, I’d hide my devastation beneath a brave face, but on the inside I was an empty vessel lost at sea. If I knew then what I know now, I would advise my nineteen-year-old self to honour her feelings; to be unafraid of reaching out and asking for help.

If you are feeling bereft, try not to stuff down your emotions. Be kind to yourself and trust that this feeling will pass. It may not go away entirely, but as sure as the tides ebb and flow, so will your state of happiness. Nothing in life is constant. As rocky as the oceans may seem, the tides will settle in time. So don’t lose heart. It’s not your job to control the weather – life is unpredictable. But we can learn to navigate the storms, we can learn to stay afloat instead of drowning.

We can begin with the three essentials to happiness.

Something to do:

This could be as simple as petting your dog; making a start on a long neglected project or planting some vegetables to harvest in winter. Participating in life brings us back to the only moment we have – NOW. It is now that we are free from the binds of the past and worries about the future. For me, writing, walking in nature, and belly laughing with loved ones always brings me back to a state of gratitude for the moment I’m in.

Something to love:

At our core, we are pure, unbounded love. Therefore, not to love is a slow death to the soul. Yet many of us forget that we cannot give away what we don’t have. Love begins first with oneself. Not in a conceited self-righteous way, but in a way that is non-judgemental and self-accepting. When we truly love ourselves, we are able love others unconditionally. Make a promise each day to look in the mirror and say with deep compassion: “I love you.” Watch how that love flows outward to others.

Something to hope for:

Studies have shown that those who practice optimism and gratitude live longer, healthier lives. Hopeful individuals repeatedly show reduced levels of stress, anxiety and depression. Hope instills a sense of faith that everything will work out for our highest good. You don’t have to be religious to have faith in a higher power. You can have faith in yourself; faith in a loving Universe, faith in others, faith in a non-denominational Divine guidance. In short, faith and hope free us from the shackles of limiting beliefs, bringing a sense of peace to even the darkest of days.

Today, take the time to do something you love. Reflect and give thanks for this moment. Trust that everything is precisely as it is meant to be, and keep the faith.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #26: Be You

be the type of person

Welcome to my twenty-sixth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’. A weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my hopes and dreams for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

When I contemplate the friendships I have remained closest to over the years, the ones that have been a constant presence in my life – I have discovered they each possess a quality rarely found in everyone we meet. Besides love and trust, what is the special glue that binds two souls together?  The vital ingredient that allows you to feel at ease in another’s company? Acceptance. Acceptance says; “It is safe for you to be vulnerable in my presence. It is safe for you to be you.”

Those friendships of mine have stood the test of time because they have accepted me for who I am, nothing more and nothing less. Nothing is expected of me, and nothing is taken for granted. Their only wish is that I be myself, in all my wonky glory. We have laughed together until our bellies hurt and our eyebrows feel like they’re about to merge into our hairlines! We have cried rivers of tears in front of each other, have listened without judgement to one another’s deepest despairs, and have shared our most personal dreams and wishes. Our love, trust and acceptance afforded us the ability to say: “Your heart is safe with me.”

Just be yourself. Let people see the real, imperfect, flawed, quirky, weird, beautiful and magical person that you are.

– Mandy Hale

We each have our irks and quirks. That is what makes life so colourful. It’s what prevents life from becoming too uniformed, too grey, too dull. So what if your ears stick out, if your bum jiggles when you walk or you snort like a pig when you laugh?! Life is tough enough without having to conform to the ideals of how others say we should be, think, speak and act. Go easy on yourself. Allow yourself the freedom to be you. As long as you aren’t causing hurt or upset to anyone; be the unapologetic, unequivocally amazing person that you are!

Soul Strolls

Since moving house, I am truly missing having a good park in walking distance to where I live. I have taken to the neighbourhood and have been walking up and down the quieter streets, and today I went in search of a local park. I found one about 25 minutes from my house, which was mostly a cemetery beside an oval. Within moments, a man in his fifties asked me if I’d go on a date with him! Taken aback, I told him I already have a boyfriend, to which he replied “I’ll kiss you!” I left promptly afterwards. The search for a good park continues! hehe I did manage to capture this pretty wee thing on the way home!

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Soul Food

I have been under the weather for the best part of two weeks. What started as a sore throat soon escalated into a chest infection when I refused to listen to my body and continued to work despite needing obvious rest! My friend and fellow blogger Miriam who blogs at Out an’ About suggested I eat bone broth! Thankfully, I’m already on the mend – but next time I am ill I will be sure to try one. I managed to find a good bone broth recipe on my favourite health and wellness websites here. (Just in case you get a case of the sniffles!)

bone broth

Soul Music

I would like to share So True by The Black Seeds today. It’s a lovely track which shows that when we are true, and trust in others, we get and give the best of ourselves.


Soul Sisters

Today, I am sharing a post titled ‘Change Your Attitude’ by Bernice at SpiritualJourney17. It reminds me of a lesson I taught to my children about replacing the ANTS (Automatic Negaive Talk) in our heads with PETS (Positive Eotional Talk). Head over for a read!

Wishing you a Sunday where you are free to be you, in all of your wonky glory!

In love & light,

Hayley xx

A New Day

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We each have moments where our words and actions fall short of our truest self. Habitual responses and behaviours can cause us to speak or act unconsciously. A situation or comment may trigger a past pain or trauma resulting in a fight, flight or freeze response. Life would be much easier if we could operate from our highest self all of the time, but life is rarely that simple. We can, however, learn to love and accept our blunders for what they are – lessons which point the way forward.

Our setbacks are there to teach us. Do you have unhealed hurts requiring your attention? Is there someone you have yet to forgive? Remember, that person needing your forgiveness may even be you.

Many of us become entangled in self-sabotaging behaviours. But it’s no use beating ourselves up over them. Instead, be gentle with yourself. Recognise what your outer world is trying to teach you about your inner world. Do you feel yourself worthy enough of happiness and fulfilment? Do you recognise that you are loved, loving and lovable even with your flaws and imperfections? Do you believe in yourself enough to make the changes necessary for growth and expansion?

You needn’t dwell on these matters for too long. Simply become aware of them. Then let them go. Move on. As Emerson reminds us, ‘tomorrow is a new day.’ Today, let’s leave the past firmly behind us so we can look to the present moment for creative solutions.

In love & light,

Hayley xx

Beyond The Ego

authentic-self

Ahh the ego. We all have one. That shadow side in each of us which grasps, blames, condemns, judges, offends, defends, competes, sabotages, attacks and punishes. And whilst we’d all love to be egoless beings, part of the human experience consists of the contrast between our light and shade. Some days we are triggered, our ego is revealed, and there is little we can do to avoid this. At best we can breathe, notice, and learn to respond rather than react. It’s not our job to judge or condemn the behaviour of others, nor should we criticise our own momentary descents into the ego.

At a soul level, we are all equally loveable, perfect, whole and complete.

Beyond our egos, we each possess within us a light of awareness; our authentic Self. Our soul. That peaceful part of us that forgives, loves, accepts, understands, inspires, compliments, encourages, nurtures, perseveres, expands and seeks the Truth. We must look beyond our character flaws and discover the perfect soul within. Our aim is to reach a stage where we can say to one another: ‘The soul in me sees the soul in you.’ – regardless of how much pain and suffering has been caused. That is how we forgive – that is how we love; ourselves as well as others.

Today, be unafraid to show that tender side of you. The side of you who is loving and accepting of another’s flaws. For in doing so, we accept our own.

Let us not forget that ‘the authentic self is the soul made visible.’

In love & light,

Hayley xx